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ULS Technology plc (LON:ULS): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

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If you own shares in ULS Technology plc (LON:ULS) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk' in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

View our latest analysis for ULS Technology

What ULS's beta value tells investors

As it happens, ULS Technology has a five year beta of 1. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether ULS Technology is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

AIM:ULS Income Statement, July 8th 2019

Could ULS's size cause it to be more volatile?

ULS Technology is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of UK£47m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. Companies this small are usually more volatile than the market, whether or not that volatility is correlated. Therefore, it's a bit surprising to see that this stock has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

It is probable that there is a link between the share price of ULS Technology and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that's your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as ULS Technology’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ULS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ULS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ULS been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of ULS's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ULS measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.